Teijin Announces Fiber, Fabric Developments
Teijin Fibers Ltd., Tokyo, plans to produce and market ECO CIRCLE® PlantFiber, a plant-based
polyethylene terephthalate (PET), beginning in April 2012. The new fiber contains approximately
30-percent content from sugar cane-derived biofuels. The bio-derived content will comprise the
ethylene glycol (EG) component of PET, and will replace oil-derived EG used to make conventional
PET. End-uses will include apparel, automotive seats and interiors, and personal hygiene products.
At the end of their useful life, those products will be recyclable, along with conventional PET
fiber products, through Teijin's Eco Circle closed-loop recycling system.
Teijin Ecopure pH-stable polyester fabric
Teijin also has debuted a polyester fabric featuring an inherent, slightly acidic pH level similar to that of healthy skin. The fabric, tentatively called ECOPURE, is targeted to high-performance sportswear, general apparel and other applications. The technology involves permanently modifying polyester polymer by creating localized hydrophilic properties and mild acidity on the surface of the inherently hydrophobic fiber, without affecting other inherent properties of the polymer. Teijin reports the mild acidity can selectively control growth of unhealthful bacteria while promoting beneficial bacterial growth, thereby maintaining healthy skin and providing ultraviolet protection. The hydrophilic properties enable absorption of perspiration as well as removal of sebum-based stains by washing, and the mild acidity neutralizes its alkaline components.